Walla Walla armed robbery suspects arraigned

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WALLA WALLA -- Two suspects charged in the armed robbery of a man at his home earlier this month were arraigned Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

John T. Owen, 18, and Katie A. Waite, 20, of 511 Chase Ave., each pleaded innocent to a first-degree robbery charge. In addition, Waite entered innocent pleas to possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Their trial is scheduled for Aug. 3 and 4.

Officials said Owen and Waite went to the home of Bruce Williams, 2252 Garrison St., about 7 a.m. June 5. Williams reportedly had met them four days earlier through a mutual friend.

Williams told police that Waite left the living room to go to the bathroom. When she didn't return in a timely fashion, Williams briefly left the room to check on her and allegedly discovered Owen handling his wallet when he returned.

"Williams grabbed his wallet from Owen and said Owen was trying to keep the wallet from him," according to a police report filed in court.

Then Williams was distracted by Waite, who had returned to the room, and Owen grabbed Williams' mini laptop computer. Owen brandished a knife and threatened Williams before both suspects ran out of the residence and left in a vehicle, the police report says.

A witness provided the vehicle's license number, and Owen and Waite were pulled over at Ninth Avenue and Poplar Street. A mini laptop was located in the vehicle. Also, police allegedly found suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in a bag among Waite's possessions.

The suspects were arrested and booked into the County Jail. Bail was set at $25,000 apiece.

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